Dementia UK: Update
In autumn 2014, Alzheimer's Society published a major study on the social and economic impact of dementia in the UK.
Dementia UK: Update shows that there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK by 2015 and that dementia costs the UK £26 billion a year.
The research, commissioned through King's College London and the London School of Economics, provides the most detailed and robust picture to date of prevalence and economic impact of dementia in the UK.
It updates the findings of the 2007 Dementia UK report, which led to landmark changes in how dementia was prioritised across the UK. An accurate understanding of dementia prevalence and cost in the UK is an important lever for policy development, influencing, commissioning and service design.
At the same time, we also published Dementia 2014: Opportunity for change, which provides a comprehensive summary of the key issues affecting people with dementia, explores how well they are living and details the changes that need to be made to improve their quality of life.
What did Dementia UK: Update find?
- At the current estimated rate of prevalence, there will be 850,000 people with dementia in the UK in 2015.
- The number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051. This is a worse case scenario, under an assumption that there are no public health interventions and changes are driven by an ageing population alone.
- There are over 40,000 people with early-onset dementia (onsest before the age of 65 years) in the UK.
- The total population prevalence of dementia among over 65s is 7.1% (based on 2013 population data).
- This equals one in every 79 (1.3%) of the entire UK population, and 1 in every 14 of the population aged 65 years and over.
- Compared to the 2007 estimates, the current prevalence consensus found there are slightly more people with dementia in the youngest (65 to 69) and oldest (90+) age bands and slightly fewer in the intermediate age groups.
- The total cost of dementia in the UK is £26.3 billion.
- The NHS picks up £4.3 billion of the costs and social care £10.3.
- Of the £10.3 billion in social care costs, £4.5 billion is attributed to local authority social services for state funded care. The remaining £5.8 billion is what people with dementia and their families pay out annually for help with everyday tasks that are provided by professional care workers, such as washing, dressing and eating.
- Two thirds of the cost of dementia (£17.4 billion) is paid by people with dementia and their families, either in unpaid care (11.6 billion) or in paying for private social care.
For more information about the findings, download the report.
For more information about local prevalence rates, download the appendix of local information.
What is Alzheimer's Society calling for?
With numbers of people with dementia rising and costs spiralling, dementia remains a challenge to the UK that cannot be overlooked. Costs of dementia will continue to rise unless we have a system that better supports both people with dementia and their carers.
It is vital that national governments build on progress made and commit to appropriately resourced national dementia strategies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Alzheimer's Society is urging government to end the artificial divide between health and social care which unfairly disadvantages people with dementia. Deep-rooted failings in a divided health and social care system leaves tens of thousands of people with dementia without the right support to do everyday tasks like getting dressed, eating and going to the toilet.